Looking for delicious appetizer meatballs with Grape Jelly and BBQ Sauce? We've got you covered with these easy cocktail meatballs that your guest will LOVE.
These appetizer meatballs with grape jelly and bbq sauce have been at my family parties since my Mom was a child. I can remember my grandma making these and serving them at pretty much every party.
There is something so comforting about a recipe that has been around for decades. Now that I have taken over the reins as the lead party hostess in the family, you better believe these continue to be a tried and true family favorite.
Grape Jelly BBQ Meatballs
There are so many times when I'm planning for the next party and I think what is a great appetizer that everyone loves and will feed a bunch of people? That is when I think these grape jelly BBQ meatballs are the perfect appetizer.
So many times whether it's for "the big game", special occasions, or a holiday party when we have large amounts of people coming to our house and I need to feed them.
This sweet and savory cocktail meatball recipe can be scaled up and down so incredibly easy to feed a small group or large, and by the way, is a delicious appetizer.
Game Day Appetizers
Game days happen A LOT at our house. Whether it's everyone coming over to watch some sports teams on the TV, or if it's after a game Friday night, I love having a handful of recipes like this one on hand that can be thrown in the instant pot and served.
Easy meatball appetizer recipes like this one are great because they are hearty and filling. Serving heavy appetizer options is always good to have on hand, especially if there is going to be alcohol being served.
They can be served as meatball sliders with a small bun, or over rice as a main course or main dish too. They can be served in a large bowl with toothpicks sitting next to it, or individually on a serving platter on a toothpick.
Meatballs With Grape Jelly and BBQ Sauce
As if this recipe couldn't get any easier, it really only needs three ingredients - Meatballs, grape jelly, and barbeque sauce. We like to add chili garlic sauce in sometimes just to give the appetizer a little extra kick, but that is completely optional. The key is to use simple ingredients.
- Meatballs: To make it super easy we love the frozen meatballs from Costco or your local grocery store. This recipe tastes great with Italian meatballs, turkey meatballs, or chicken meatballs.
- Grape Jelly: Whatever is your family favorite. Ours is Welch's, but Smuckers, or any generic brand will do.
- BBQ Sauce: Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue Sauce is one of our family favorites, but any barbeque sauce you prefer is great.
Appetizer Meatball Ingredients
- Frozen meatballs
- Grape Jelly
- Barbecue Sauce
- Chili Sauce (optional)
How to Make Grape Jelly Meatballs Instant Pot
Pour water into the Instant Pot.
Add frozen meatballs.
Layer with bbq sauce, grape jelly, and chili garlic sauce. (No need to stir)
Close the lid, seal the steam release valve, and cook on high pressure. Once cooking time is complete, carefully do a quick release of the pressure. Open the lid and stir everything together to ensure all the meatballs are coated.
If you want the sauce to be slightly thicker, turn on the saute function and simmer for a few additional minutes.
Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
Meatball Appetizer Recipes Variations
There are many aspects of this easy recipe where there is room for variation. We are breaking down some of the variations below to help with any
Slow Cooker Meatballs - This has always been the slow cooker grape jelly meatballs recipe in my family. Since the Instant Pot is a newer kitchen appliance, we love the speed at which we can make them in that. If you are looking to make crockpot meatballs in the slow cooker or crockpot, then I recommend cooking all the ingredients on high for 2-3 hours or on low for 4-6 hours. Change to warm setting until ready to serve.
Baked Meatballs - This is a great recipe in the oven. Simply throw your frozen meatballs on a baking sheet and cook according to the package directions. Heat the sauce in a sauté pan over medium heat until it comes to a boil for one minute. In a large mixing bowl combine meatballs and sauce.
The number one question asked about this crowd pleaser recipe is whether to use store-bought meatballs or homemade meatballs. The reality is that it is completely up to you and the amount of time you have as well as dietary.
You will know each of the ingredients if you make your own meatballs. With pre-made meatballs, they are made how they are made and if you are following any specific diet (gluten-free, etc.) then it may be easier to make your own.
Homemade Meatballs - When making my own meatballs, for the ground meat I prefer half ground pork and half lean ground beef. Combine that with bread crumbs and they make the most tender meatballs.
Kind of Meatball - The beauty of this recipe is that you can use whatever kind of meatballs you like for this recipe. We've made them with Italian meatballs, Swedish meatballs, mini meatballs, and even little smokies.
Sauce - You can absolutely change out the BBQ sauce for a Chili Sauce, like Heinz Chili Sauce. That is very similar to ketchup and is not spicy at all. It doesn't have the extra smoky flavor that a BBQ sauce might add but is great.
Fruit Jelly - There are cranberry meatballs that use canned cranberry sauce instead of grape jelly. Yes, that canned cranberry sauce! This is a bit tangier than the grape jelly, works just as great. Other fruit flavors work in this recipe too. Apricot preserves, raspberry, and even cherry. Any substitute will work great!
Other Appetizers You'll Love
- Tater Tot Skewers
- Chicken Pot Pie Bites
- Italian Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms
- Pineapple Appetizers
- Bloody Mary Skewers
- ½ Bag (24 ounce) frozen meatballs
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- ½ cup grape jelly
- 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (optional)
- Pour ½ a cup of water into the Instant Pot.
- Add frozen meatballs.
- Layer with bbq sauce, grape jelly, and chili garlic sauce. (No need to stir)
- Close the lid, seal the steam release valve and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
- Once cooking time is complete, carefully do a quick release of the pressure.
- Open the lid and stir everything together to ensure all the meatballs are coated.
- If you want the sauce to be slightly thicker, turn on the saute function and simmer for a few additional minutes.
- Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 105Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 414mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 1gSugar: 19gProtein: 1g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.
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